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WebGL: Up and Running Paperback – August 27, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1449323578 ISBN-10: 144932357X Edition: 1st

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WebGL: Up and Running + Professional WebGL Programming: Developing 3D Graphics for the Web + WebGL Programming Guide: Interactive 3D Graphics Programming with WebGL (OpenGL)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144932357X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449323578
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Building 3D Graphics for the Web

About the Author

Tony Parisi is an entrepreneur and career CTO/architect. He has developed international standards and protocols, created noteworthy software products, and started and sold technology companies. Tony's passion for innovating is exceeded only by his desire to bring coolness and fun to the broadest possible audience.

Tony is perhaps best known for his work as a pioneer of 3D standards for the web. He is the co-creator of VRML and X3D, ISO standards for networked 3D graphics. He also co-developed SWMP, a real-time messaging protocol for multi-user virtual worlds. Tony continues to build community around innovations in 3D as the co-chair of the WebGL Meetup and a founder of the Rest3D working group.

Tony is currently a partner in a stealth online gaming startup and has a consulting practice developing social games, virtual worlds and location-based services for San Francisco Bay Area clients.


More About the Author

Tony Parisi is an entrepreneur and career CTO/software architect. He has developed international standards and protocols, created noteworthy software products, and started and sold technology companies. Tony's passion for innovating is exceeded only by his desire to build great products.

Tony is the co-creator of the VRML and X3D ISO standards for networked 3D graphics, and continues to innovate in 3D technology. Tony is the co-chair of the San Francisco WebGL Meetup (www.meetup.com/WebGL-Developers-Meetup), a founder of the Rest3D working group (http://www.rest3d.org/) and a member of the Khronos COLLADA working group creating glTF, the new file format standard for 3D web and mobile applications. Tony is also the author of O'Reilly Media's books on WebGL: WebGL Up and Running (2012), and Programming 3D Applications in HTML5 and WebGL (2014).

Tony is the founder of Vizi, a San Francisco-based interactive agency developing 3D applications for web, mobile and the new generation of virtual reality systems.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Rhythm on November 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
You won't exactly learn "WebGL"--The book devotes a few pages to WebGL and then dives into using the three.js webGL library and Sim.js library (written by the author.) The book does not teach you the nitty gritty WebGL details that you might be looking for. I was interested in learning the low level concepts like creating lights, cameras, shaders and loading and generating meshes from scratch. Instead, this book simply acts as a guide on how to use three.js.

By the end of the book, you will not know how to create a basic light shader, nor how to render a sphere from polygons rather than helper functions. I have nothing against the author and the book really does get you "up and running"--but expect to be highly dependent on three.js and other libraries after finishing.

This book is NOT recommended for those looking to write their own library or learn about shaders or the Graphics Pipeline.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Briggs on September 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
The title is misleading.

It covers three.js, a WebGL/Javascript library.

It's like getting a book titled "Javascript Up and Running," and then finding out it just teaches jQuery.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Todd Juro on April 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to quickly use WebGL/Three.js using the author's own framework then this book is fine. But if you want to actually learn how to program WebGL with Three.js, this book is almost useless after the first chapter.

In Chapters 2 and on the author uses his own framework, Sim.js, to place object on screen and animate them, so you don't actually learn anything about Three.js. The framework might save you from typing a little code, but more than once he says "It is a bit too simplistic for building large-scale applications or games, but you may still find it useful in your development work." If I'm trying to learn a language or api, inserting someone else's custom programming layer in between me and the actual language doesn't help me to learn it - it just masks the code itself and limits me to what that framework can do. I didn't want to learn Sim.js. I wanted to learn Three.js, and this book did not teach me anything more about it than how to put objects on the screen.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Mauthe on November 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book with the intention of helping me with a project I was working on. For that purpose, it has been fairly spectacular. However, the book relies heavily on THREE.js and another library written by the author. Relying on THREE.js is fine, since it is quickly becoming the standard... But the application framework library that the author has written - and uses throughout all the examples - glosses over much of the intricaces of the THREE.js framework... I find myself picking apart the Sim.js code just to see what's really going on....

I bought this book so I wouldn't HAVE to wade through quite so much JS to get where I needed to go... Perhaps I was looking for the wrong book - something of a THREE.js cookbook - but this book's reliance on the Sim.js framework makes it a bit of a wash in my view... Simply because your learning is coupled to that architecture.

However, I do feel that if the book were taken on it's own that it could be something of a course in WebGL. And if you're cool with committing yourself to this relatively unknown Sim.js platform, then the book is freakin' awesome.

It's nice that the book doesn't focus on bare metal WebGL; since that's pretty nasty stuff... But, in fear of the deep end, this book ended up too far in the shallow end of the pool.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book says it is about WebGL, but it is really about three.js

I bought this book of hoping to learn about WebGL not three.js. Very little of the book covers how WebGL works fortunately Amazon has a good return policy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Terence Camerlengo on December 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I really liked the first couple chapters and thought the author did a nice job of explaining 3D web-graphics and introducing the very powerful and useful three.js library - which is becoming a standard for webgl programming. I appreciate three.js because I do not want to develop my own shaders!

However, the book starts to lose its way when the author introduces the Sim.js library, which is his own creation. I found myself increasingly trying to deconstruct the Sim.js library in order to figure out what the heck it was doing. I also felt the treatment on hit-testing was not adequate and did not like the way the Sim.js library handled mouse interaction.

Another issue I had with Sim.js and his other examples, was his extensive use of JavaScript prototyping which added another layer of complexity. This is just my opinion and I realize I may be in the minority on this one, but when reading a book and grappling with new concepts, I prefer code that is a little more verbose but extra clear, rather than code that is filled with lots of abstractions and cleverness.

If you want a book on three.js and webgl, this is the book to get. But you might have better luck perusing the various three.js websites and online examples first seeing how far you can get first.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark Colan TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book which in only 239 pages gives a major jumpstart to anyone wanting to learn WebGL technology. The number of topics presented here is staggering, yet the concepts are described in adequate detail to make this a truly useful tutorial.

The WebGL specification is available free online for reference, as are documents about the libraries, but the value of this book is the well-explained examples that form the bulk of the content. After you read this book, you should understand the basics of 3D programming and WebGL graphics, animation, interaction, and integration with 2D Web pages.

The book examples are written in JavaScript programming, and also assume some very basic understanding of HTML and the DOM. However, I never programmed in JavaScript, yet with my Java and C++ background I had no problem understanding the code. In fact, if you have Java, C++, or C# background, you will end up learning JavaScript and the required HTML / DOM concepts just by reading the examples and their descriptions. Most experienced programmers will easily pick it up from reading the code and explanations.

You can run the examples and develop your own on Linux, Windows, and OS X using free, open source software; see the SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS section below.

STYLE

The author writes in clear and concise English. The tone is friendly and personable, at times like he is talking to you, but without fluff or filler content. The examples, with source available for download, are simple but powerful, and fun to use.
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